Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Behind The Mask

The first time I recall seeing people wearing a Guy Fawkes mask was during the Occupy Wall Street movement. For those who don't know, Guy Fawkes was one of the leaders of the Gunpowder Plot, an effort to blow up the British House of Lords. The mask was popularized in the movie, V for Vendetta.

Over the past few years the stylized mask has evolved into a global symbol of dissent, employed by everyone from shadowy computer hackers to Turkish airline workers. Since the Occupy Wall Street movement fizzled out, I haven't seen much of people actually hiding behind a mask...until I started (against my better judgment) to read some of the comments posted on a few Internet sites and realized that the mask (that is, hiding one's identity) was alive and well.

Is it just because people can hide behind the "mask" of screen names that they feel free to post the vitriol I saw there? Or is that the state of our society now? I'd write more, but I'm afraid I'd descend to the depths of those people who currently cloak their identity with that mask.

On my own Facebook site, I see differing opinions, and I'm OK with that--to a point. Some of these people are friends, even relatives, and their civil disagreement with me is reasonable. But if you're using my Facebook page to spew trash, I'm going to "unfriend" you. I've already started...and, frankly, it feels good.

Tweet with a single click. "Is the Internet letting people say things they wouldn't say face-to-face?" Click here to tweet.


Patricia Bradley said...

Isn't anonymity the way of cowards? If someone uses a mask in order to post the vitriol I see on the web, that what I think they are. Cowards. I rarely go to FB anymore except when I have to. :-)

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, I agree--but the anonymity of a screen name apparently allows a lot of folks to say things they wouldn't otherwise post or comment. I agree with you about FB, but as authors, you and I have to maintain a "presence" on social media. It's a balancing act. Thanks for your comment (and for using your name).

Patricia Bradley said...

:-) And you're absolutely right about the presence...whatever happened to just doing a book tour!

Paula Shreckhise said...

I just got on Facebook and sometimes my husband has to do an intervention! Haha! But I try to be careful what I like, share and repost! On Easter Day I vowed to only post uplifting things for the day. If I post scripture with pretty pictures--- I can't go wrong! Blessings!

Richard Mabry said...

Paula, good advice. Thanks for your comment.